Thursday, January 19, 2012

Best Bands of All Time - #3 Arcwelder

#3 - Arcwelder

Ahh, Arcwelder! A melodic, bombastic, wall of sound.

I think I first saw Arcwelder opening up for Soul Asylum in about 1991 at First Ave. and they've consistently been a favorite of mine ever since. I say "consistently" because they're still playing a couple shows a year and I just saw them over Christmas at the Turf Club in St. Paul.

Arcwelder was always the band that I wanted to become because they managed their terrific rock band while still holding down normal jobs. When I started playing in a band at age 29 I had a good job and wasn't prepared to sacrifice everything for the incessant touring required to make it professionally. Brothers Bill and Rob Graber (lead and bass guitar) always had a decent career and were still able to create phenomenal rock music, whilst only touring occasionally.

Here's an example, the instrumental "Cranberry Sauce":


Arcwelder grew up in that time before ubiquitous movie cameras and simple film software. Their early lo-fi videos are definitely of that time when indie rock bands had low budgets and homemade videos. This is "All Mixed Together" off of their 4th album, Xerxes:


A couple years ago a buddy and I flew from Minneapolis to Portland just to see Arcwelder. They're that kind of band that those now rare shows are essential.

The Deets
If you could buy just one album: Pull
Best lyric: Sing a little pop song / and everybody loves you (from "Remember to Forget")
Best iTunes track featuring singing drummer Scott Macdonald to sample: "What Did You Call It That For"
Best quote from 1990 press release announcing changing of band's name from "tiltawhirl": "It is the chance of the public associating 'tiltawhirl', the band, with 'Tilt-a-Whirl', the ride, that Sellner wishes to avoid. That is why the band's suggestions for new names such as 'Tilt', 'Tilted World', and 'Tiltagirl' were nixed by Sellner".

Long live Arcwelder!


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